According to Wikipedia, St. Valentine’s Day began as a liturgical celebration of one or more early Christian saints named Valentinus. A popular account of Saint Valentine of Rome states that he was imprisoned for performing weddings for soldiers who were forbidden to marry and for ministering to Christians, who were persecuted under the Roman Empire. According to legend, during his imprisonment, he healed the daughter of his jailer, Asterius. An embellishment to this story states that before his execution he wrote her a letter signed “Your Valentine” as a farewell.
The day was first associated with romantic love in the circle of Geoffrey Chaucer in the High Middle Ages, when the tradition of courtly love flourished. In 18th-century England, it evolved into an occasion in which lovers expressed their love for each other by presenting flowers, offering confectionery, and sending greeting cards (known as “valentines“). Valentine’s Day symbols that are used today include the heart-shaped outline, doves, and the figure of the winged Cupid. Since the 19th century, handwritten valentines have given way to mass-produced greeting cards.
“‘Tis better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all.”
Alfred Lord Tennyson
Ok, so let’s cut the cupid crap and get down to reality. No matter how Valentine’s Day came to be what it is today, the holiday is supposed to be about love. Plain and simple. But somewhere along the way, it became about money like so many other holidays. I haven’t enjoyed Christmas for years because it’s all about how much you spend.
Every year stores decorate their shelves with teddy bears, chocolate, cards and red lingerie, the MINUTE that the left-over Christmas decorations are removed and stored for another year.
As much as I enjoy all the standard valentine’s gifts, the greatest gift of all is your time, attention and love. You can give all three of those things to someone and it won’t cost you a cent. Give those three things this year, instead of buying something from a store. You won’t regret it.
In case you need a couple of examples, these “gifts” are things that I would really appreciate from my lover:
-/Set up a warm bubble bath for me, with scented candles and quiet classical music playing in the background. Wash me with care and attention, using the opportunity to “show” me your love…and how tender you can be.
Photo credit: 500px.com
-/Make a home cooked meal for me and set the table with candles.
-/Steal a few scenes from one of my favorite movies, “9 1/2 Days” starring Kim Basinger and Mickey Rourke. It was released back in the 80′s, but still a hot flick.
-/And then of course, there’s sex. But instead of the same old thing, mix it up a little. Try some bondage or role playing games. Even though it’s usually the woman that comes up with new ideas to “spice things up”, most men I know would get a woody just thinking about their girl in a catholic school girl uniform, or a sexy nurse or secretary.
Photo credit: macklifestyle.com
I guess what I’m trying to say is that there is no need to spend large amounts of cash on your mate to show them you love them. My husband and I no longer spend a fortune on this holiday…a well chosen card and maybe a box of chocolates and we make a point to make time for each other in our hectic schedule.
I’m sure I’m not the only one out there who feels that holidays have become too materialistic. I imagine that all single people having to put up with all that “love nonsense,” knowing that they will be going home to an empty apartment. I can still remember that awful feeling of dread while waiting for that horrible holiday that seemed to put my embarrassing relationship status under a magnifying glass. I used to buy myself a box of chocolates and drown my sorrows in sugar. This tradition continued throughout my life only now I use booze.
As you can guess, this post is late. I started it a few days ago and it was supposed to be ready to publish on the night of the 13th but I worked a couple of long nights in a row and just couldn’t find the time to get it finished. It’s not my most brilliant work, but I hope it was worth the few minutes it took you to read it.
At the beginning of the week, we lost a beloved family pet. Pebbles was a great cat and is already missed very much.